The white stuff… or goods.

It’s snowing! After winter! Yay? Yay!

It only took since November, but finally Tallinn is covered in a thick white blanket. I’d take photographs but I’m lazy. Well, I’m not that lazy, I’ve worked some wonders on the hostel recently. Excuse me while I pat myself on the back.

Cooking has become my passion, unfortunately I’m shit at it. Still, I can’t get enough of it. I always enjoyed watching cooking shows before, now I just lurk on cooking forums and recipe websites and watch any videos I can download to do with cooking. I’ve actually been making too much food for myself and it feels like I’ve put on a little bit of weight.

The desire to lose weight is the reason I decided to start running a few weeks ago. I still haven’t actually done it, but I did decide to. One step at a time. I am a procrastinator, after all.

Looks like the Tartu hostel might be soon underway, as the owners are going to sign the papers next month in order to buy the building. From what I’ve seen it looks pretty cool and pretty well located. Woo.

Maris and Britt left in a rather underwhelming farewell. No tears or anything. Just a goodbye and off they went. Suits me, really. Long goodbyes are never nice. By the way, I’d kill for an ice cream.

I think I’ll enroll in a cooking class, then run to each lesson. Then run home. I hope that’s possible. Then again, I don’t know if Estonian cuisine is something I really want to learn. Hopefully they can just teach me the basics of food preparation and cooking techniques.

Perhaps it’s just time I got a life.

Ch-ch-ch-changes.

This post was inspired by palmy’s return.

I’ll give a quick summary again, as it’s been nearly 2 months (what a surprise).

Emily and I broke up in July. It was a bit messy but now it’s done. She went to Germany with her dad and I went to Berlin the week before on my own. I had a great time there, actually. I met some guys that offered me jobs and was close to accepting them until Hugo offered me a pay rise and more stuff to do here.

Sure, I’d probably make more money in Berlin doing stuff but I still love my Tallinn. I was considering even getting a proper job here for some firm like HP or Skype or something. Hostel life is still more appealing at the moment though.

Anyway, yeah. Berlin was fantastic. One of my new favourite cities. I’m definitely heading back there some time… Maybe March next year for a month or two. It’s possible to rent apartments in the city for 115 euro/month. Tempting.

We had about 14 staff in the hostel in July. More than half left. We should be getting a few more soon, hopefully. It’s been fairly hectic on the farewell party scene of late, but fun.

I went to a folk music festival in Viljandi, a town in southern Estonia. The population of the place doubles for the four days of the festival, basically. It was really good fun. I camped out in the festival grounds in a shitty little tent and it only slightly flooded, so I was satisfied. The range of music was actually quite broad, and some other guys organised after-parties in a concert hall nearby each night. I really want to go again next year.

Oh, yeah, I finally went to Tartu, as well. Twice now. The first was for another one day festival that some of us hitchhiked to, then didn’t bother going into the place. We sat outside in a playground for most of the day instead. That was probably more fun, in the end. The second time was for a university party which was fairly tame… Partly because it wasn’t very big and partly because almost everyone spoke Estonian. Which is fair enough…

Speaking of speaking Estonian, I’m learning! Finally. It took me 10 months or so but I can now count and say numbers and also the days of the week. Basics, but basics I never actually had to use before. I’m getting a few more sentences and phrases ingrained as well. It’s fun. Too bad it’s almost impossible to replicate the vowel sounds, especially with an Australian accent. Ah well.

The hostel actually has a little bar now in the basement, too. Don’t tell anyone though. It’s a secret. We’re also owners of what used to be the second hand store and baby shop underneath now, so we can knock out some walls and connect the whole hostel together. We’ll move reception and the bar into there, too. I can’t wait, because it’s going to rock.

Last night I went to some multi-band concert called Polymer. There were about 10 bands playing throughout the night but I didn’t stay for them all. The venue was basically an abandoned factory out in the suburbs which is actually meant to be condemned. There were artworks and paintings and sculptures all over the place on display and all these funky little rooms. Reminded me so much of Tacheles in Berlin. Ahh, happy times.

Alright, enough crap for now. I’ve kind of stopped uploading photos onto my website because I use Facebook more and it’s faster than this host but perhaps I’ll slap up a few selections later on.

Fidgeting.

I’ve gotta get myself a Russian visa…

I’ve also got to determine a place to go to on the 11th of July. Berlin, perhaps.

Em and her dad are hitting up Germany in the next few weeks, so I’ll most likely go along. Maybe a week early.

I’m still feeling homesick, in a weird way. It’s probably because I don’t know what to do at the moment, so just going home sounds very tempting. Then again, it’s mostly the food that I miss… I think?

Fuck it. I don’t know. I don’t really care. Blah blah blah. I’m not even sure what I’m saying.

Anyway. Tallinn’s still nice. The sun never sets here now. It’s pretty trippy. Really buggers up your body clock. It can be 11:30pm before you realise it and then you’re still not tired.

There’s still so many Australians around here. It’s kinda funny.

I’m gonna make cheese and salami toasted sandwiches now. I might have a beer, too. Rockin’.

Just popping in

Greetings from Trogir, yet another coastal Croatian town. Sure, the old town is kind of pretty, but they all start to look the same after a while. Especially when every menu is full of fish and the cafes are all overpriced because you can smell salt in the air.

I’m going to write more about our travels later, I don’t much feel like it now. Boo hoo, no one gives two tosses anyway so what’s the rush, right? Of course.

In case anyone was wondering, my hair is looking splendid. It’s grown past the stage where it appears I have big red ear muffs and now I just look like a messy, bearded hippy. All those private school teachers would be so proud to see me these days. I even walk around in 3/4 pants and wear thongs. If I ever get back to Newtown it’ll be like I never left.

Only a few days to go until we fly to Dublin for 8 hours, then to Tampere in Finland to grab our stuff from Lahti before heading back to Tallinn and another month of toilet cleaning. There’s a dirty rumour that the place is actually getting organised now, perhaps even rosters! So much for spontaneity.

I still haven’t lined up a job in the UK, and I don’t really care. Things could be drastically changing plan, but I don’t like to give too much away. Not just yet, at least. Perhaps I’ll be lucky and manage to coax all three of you readers into a blog cliffhanger. It’s doubtful, but it gives me something to do.

Since I’ve had nothing much else to do except hang around in cafes, I’ve started ordering an espresso and a cappuccino at the same time. The waiters always think it’s for two people. Oh the hilarity. Eventually I plan to make it so common that they come on specially designed saucers, with two cup emplacements. That’s my dream. I’m a sad man.

I miss action ball. I cry myself to sleep over it most nights. Instead, I’ve roped Em into playing chess with me on a small travel set we bought. The fun never stops.

No vote for me

I’m not going to be voting in the next Federal election back home. I just have to fill out some form and fax it back to the Australian Electoral Comission. I’ve never sent a fax before. I hope it looks pretty.

So, the gym’s still good. I haven’t been able to go as often this week due to work and other distractions. It’s only going to get even harder to find the time soon as there’ll only be three of us working here within the next week or so. Hopefully Emily and I will be able to at least go separately whenever we find the time. I’m considering taking up morning sessions, as in 9AM to 11AM. I’m generally awake at that time so it shouldn’t be a problem, particularly when the hostel is also quiet during those hours.

Yep, three staff members for two buildings. We’re going to need more volunteers soon. Anyone feel like visiting?

Going away for our one year anniversary is sounding like a difficult achievement. With a bit of luck though we should manage. Either that or just delay it. I don’t know. I’ve got a feeling Em won’t be too impressed regardless.

Stupid head cold has come back to piss me off. I couldn’t even breathe when I tried to go to sleep last night. Fascinating, I know.

Speaking of fascinating, geez it was good seeing Ireland thrash England in the Six Nations last night. The local Irish were dancing whilst the local English could do nothing more than shrug their shoulders in embarassment. After the match we caught most of a groovy little gig in one of our favourite underground bars by a young Swedish band that was touring Tallinn for one show. They played a very catchy, up-tempo cover of Oasis’ Wonderwall that really impressed me.

The band actually stayed in the hostel that night. That happens a lot. We’re cool like that.

We had a little bash for Hector on Friday night. He’s one of the staff members leaving soon. I’ll put some pictures up later when I can be bothered and share them with you all. :) The sangria was good.

Shaping up

It’s been about a week-and-a-half since we joined the gym. I’m starting to feel a bit of muscle growing back, albeit ever so slowly. Hopefully I can bulk up a bit just so I look nicer in my Spider-Man t-shirts when the weather warms up again.

Speaking of weather, it’s actually snowing again today! Yay. The snowflakes are rather large at the moment. I can see their shapes and patterns with relative ease. Tallinn looks so nice when it’s covered in white. I’m sure it looks nice when it’s bright and sunny too, I either just can’t remember or came here too late. Summer will return soon enough.

The worst thing about actually exercising regularly now is that I seem to be eating a lot more. It kind of defeats the purpose in a way but I’m not really eating too badly, either, so hopefully I’m still shedding a little bit more day by day. Except for today. I had popcorn. A whole bag. To myself. It was good.

I watched Ghost Rider last night. It wasn’t as bad as I expected. Sure, there were a few cheesy lines (ok, awful) and Cage looks really strange when he points but it was still fun. I don’t know a whole lot about the character but he seemed pretty cool in the movie, plus his bike looked funky.

Time’s going quite fast these days. I don’t feel like I’m doing a whole lot but I somehow seem to be. It’s hard to work out. It’ll be no time before the 12 bottle of juice we bought in a crate runs out. We thought they were on special for 70 EEK. Turns out they were actually going at 200 EEK instead. Whoops. We were too embarrassed to take them back from the register when we discovered the truth after it was swiped. Never mind.

I’ve started reading The Chrysalids, by John Wyndham. I’m only a few chapters in but it’s enjoyable so far. Unfortunately it’s an old, paperback edition that is literally falling apart. If I speed read it might completely disintegrate. Wish me luck.